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Fund to support entrepreneurs starting small businesses in Moray

By Jonathan Clark

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ENTREPRENEURS seeking to launch small businesses in Moray are set to benefit from a £75,000 start-up grant fund to stimulate economic recovery in the area.

Half of the funding is coming from underspend from Moray Council’s Business Gateway services, with £35,000 match funding secured for the scheme from Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

It is hoped the fund will help new businesses with start-up costs and mitigate against issues relating to the furlough scheme ending in September.

New ventures could be supported with a start-up grant of £1500, open to all sectors. The scheme will launch in September and run until March 2022, or earlier if the funds run out.

Eligibility criteria apply, and applicants will be asked to describe the benefits of the business to the local economy as well as providing a market analysis, and be prepared to submit a business plan and financial projections.

Chair of Moray Council’s Economic Growth, Housing and Environmental Sustainability committee, Cllr Graham Leadbitter (Elgin City South, SNP), said targeted support is key to encouraging new business to start up in a recovering financial climate.

He said: “While the Covid pandemic has thrown up many challenges, it has also brought out some exceptional resilience and entrepreneurialism from many businesses.

“We have seen people whose work or business has been affected by Covid looking at new ideas, including new start-up businesses.

"It is important that we support that innovation and new business development and this grant scheme is an excellent way to do that.

“I would encourage people with new business ideas to consider applying and make the most of the support that is available through grant schemes and business advisory services, including our own Business Gateway team.”

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